ELLE Man (Canada) - - STYLE -

monochromatic rosy pearl or dirty white, they were sub­tly street. They had a medium-low pro­file, avoided high-con­trast top­stitch­ing and pos­sessed no bells or whis­tles. They were qui­etly lux­u­ri­ous with their na­paleather up­pers and el­e­gant enough for Paris Fash­ion Week. They will prob­a­bly look even bet­ter at the cu­bi­cle farm. They seem per­fectly de­signed for when the boss says “Perkins, wear­ing sneak­ers? To work?” Now, Perkins can say “But they’re Raf Si­mons.”

You’d think that be­ing of­fice-ready is faint praise for a piece of streetwear, but Van­cou­ver de­signer Kevin Reid thinks it’s a nat­u­ral evo­lu­tion. As Live­stock’s cre­ative di­rec­tor and head de­signer of its in-house la­bel, Il­lus­trated Ex­am­ple, Reid sees streetwear as “grow­ing up with the con­sumer, the guy who has been fol­low­ing it.” “You’re see­ing a lot more shirt­ing, a lot more knitwear,” he says. “You’re see­ing a lot of things that weren’t part of streetwear 10 years ago be­com­ing huge com­po­nents of a com­pany’s col­lec­tion.”

And at the heart of this mat­u­ra­tion of streetwear is the de­sire for ver­sa­til­ity. “Life is un­pre­dictable,” says Reid, and streetwear needs to adapt to “life and liv­ing in the city, be­ing ac­tive and do­ing things.” Time also fac­tors into the de­sign, which leads back to the man (I’ll as­sume he was a man) who bought the Yeezy Boost 350 sneak­ers for $704. Per­haps it’s mid­night for him now. His spouse and kids are asleep. He closes the lap­top and slips into bed. And in the morn­ing, he won’t tell any­one he bought the shoes.

When they come in the mail, he ices them, hid­ing them at the back of the closet be­cause he’s a ninja. He’s street, but he doesn’t dress like Spike Lee in Do the Right Thing. That was a long time ago. What he wears now is nin­jawear be­cause it’s all about stealth. He looks do­mes­ti­cated, but un­der­neath he re­mains wild at heart. The street is in him. He thinks that maybe af­ter work he’ll head to con­crete un­der the over­pass to skate, to freestyle ride, do shit. But he won’t. Pos­ing: Maybe that’s all that’s left in the end.

So maybe the joke’s on him.

The hottest kicks on the mar­ket: Yeezy Boost 350 Black

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